New anti-venom saves man bitten by rattlesnake

New anti-venom saves man bitten by rattlesnake
Rattlesnake bites can get pretty ugly. Luckily for Evans, they didn't cost him his life. He was hiking in White Tank Regional Park on Sunday, when he tried moving a rattler off the trail with a stick. (Source: KPHO, KTVK, CNN, Samuel Evans)

PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK/CNN) - An Arizona man is the first patient in the nation to receive a newly approved anti-venom treatment.

"My hand started looking like a balloon," Samuel Evans said.

Rattlesnake bites can get pretty ugly. Luckily for Evans, they didn't cost him his life.

He was hiking in White Tank Regional Park on Sunday, when he tried moving a rattler off the trail with a stick.

"It got hung up in a bush, and the stick slipped off of it," he said. "And he spun around and bit me"

Rattlesnake bites can get pretty ugly. Luckily for Evans, they didn't cost him his life. He was hiking in White Tank Regional Park on Sunday, when he tried moving a rattler off the trail with a stick.
Rattlesnake bites can get pretty ugly. Luckily for Evans, they didn't cost him his life. He was hiking in White Tank Regional Park on Sunday, when he tried moving a rattler off the trail with a stick. (Source: KPHO, KTVK, CNN, Samuel Evans)

Evans went to the hospital, but the anti-venom he received wasn’t working. He had an allergic reaction to it.

Banner University Medical Center had something brand new. Not only does it work in some patients with allergies to the other anti-venom, it has other advantages.

Dr. Aryn O'Connor, a toxicologist, said it lasts longer in the body, so it can continue to fight venom still lingering.

"It's the first time it's been given since it's been to market," O'Connor said.

How to identify venomous snakes

It turns out this doctor actually treated Evans 14 years before - for another rattlesnake bite.

"You promised me you weren't going to handle snakes again," she told him.

A medicine even more powerful than the new antivenom might be a healthy dose of caution.

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